Soda Ban A No Go
March 14, 2013

Soda Ban A No Go

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was set for his ban on oversized sugary beverages to go into effect this week.

Then, a pesky judge got in the way and overturned the ban. Now, New Yorkers are still able to purchase their super sized sugary beverages with a pride only Americans can muster. They’ve just been given the right to do whatever they want, even if it places their health in danger. And it tastes so sweet.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling declared the ban invalid at the last minute this Monday, calling Bloomberg’s plan “arbitrary and capricious.”

Otherwise, the ban would have begun on Tuesday. Bloomberg, who has been funneling his own money into this fight, has also announced that he will appeal the decision.

“It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives,” said Bloomberg, according to the Wall Street Journal.

There had been some confusion about the particulars of this ban, however. Judge Tingling said that the numerous exceptions to the ban are what caused him to overturn it.

For instance, under the soda ban, food service establishments, (restaurants, movie theaters, and stadiums) wouldn’t be allowed to sell sodas or other “sugary beverages” in cups larger than 16 ounces. There are a few caveats and words that need to be defined here, though.

The city defined a “sugary beverage” as a drink with more than 25 calories per eight ounces that has been either sweetened by the manufacturer or mixed with some other caloric sweetener. Interestingly enough, if a sugary beverage is more than half milk, like milkshakes, they were exempt from this ban and could be served in any size the food service establishment could dream up. Starbucks’ famous Frappucinnos, on the other hand, would only be served in a Grande or Tall size had the ban gone through.

New York had also left out convenience stores, supermarkets and vending machines from the umbrella of “Food Service Establishment.”

Large sodas would have been permissible in these establishments, meaning New Yorkers could still buy their 2-liter sodas at the grocery store and 20-ounce beverages from vending machines all over New York.

Another interesting exception:

This also meant that 7-Eleven’s iconic “Big Gulp” would still be available to whomever had the cash to thrown down and a thirst that needed quenching.

What’s more, this ban didn’t regulate refills or buying more than one beverage, so, in a sense, customers would have been able to buy as much soda and sugary drinks as they wanted, just not in one container.

This decision had plenty of people both inside and outside of New York worked up. Some claimed the judge shouldn’t have stepped in and rather should have let the ban go into effect. Others are glad it happened, saying the ban was a violation of their rights. Those non-soda drinking citizens have more of an easygoing attitude about it all, as the only way this ban would have affected them is having to put up with other caffeine- and sugar-starved New Yorkers.

Yet, it seems Bloomberg has pockets deep enough to continue this fight for sometime. After all, he was able to chase smokers out of public parks and restaurants, a point of pride for the New York mayor.

“I just spent roughly $600 million of my own money to try to stop the scourge of tobacco,” said Bloomberg in a September interview about the ban.

“I’m looking for another cause. How much were they spending again?”

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